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Time in the pool is always well spent for me. I love to swim. Always have. I’m fairly certain that I could swim before I could walk. My mom was the swimming instructor at our local pool for what seemed to be my whole childhood. She made sure that we all knew how to swim. Some of us do it better than others, but none of us (well maybe one of us) will ever drown.

As a younger person (and by younger, I mean like 30 years ago at least) I swam properly. Freestyle. Breathing in a very normal inhale/exhale pattern as I moved easily through the water. No goggles. No swim cap to keep the water out of my ear (YUCK). Just swim and breathe, swim and breathe, swim and breathe. Endlessly.

Now? I still love the water. I still swim. For hours on end. Only it’s different now. I don’t really put my face in the water. I definitely don’t open my eyes in the water. The swim and breathe has gone the way of the dodo. It has become “whatever feels comfortable without getting my hair wet and without over-exerting myself too much.” It’s relaxing! For the way I swim today, I’m still reasonably quick. I am still very confident in the water.

Well, confident until yesterday. I did my first “official” training swim for the Iron Cowboy. I’m not a stupid person, and I know I have work to do, so my training plan for the first month is to simply get used to proper swimming again. Re-training my brain to swim and breath. What I didn’t realize is that I was going to have to re-train my body to rotate.

Wow! The rotation factor was fabulous! First stroke, turn from the neck to grab a quick breath. And apparently a mouthful of water, but not enough to work myself into a coughing fit. Face back in the water. Other side now. Turn from the shoulders to grab a quick breath. Ah. Much better. Still a little splashy. Need to figure out the “rotate at the waist” method. Each breath and rotation took a high amount of effort. I could see (because I had goggles on) that every time I rotated to breathe, I was changing my course in the lane. Like a paddle-board without a rudder. I continued zig-zaggy lap after zig zaggy lap, trying to remember how to rotate and breath while keeping in a straight swimming line.

I don’t really know what I looked like from anyone standing on the outside edge of the pool, but on a couple of my trips back down the lane I noticed the life guard standing by the edge of the pool holding a flotation device. WHAT HAVE I BECOME!?

Goggles! Good lord! I have never swam (swum?, swimmed?) with goggles before. Do you have any idea what they do to your depth perception. It took me 20 minutes before I quit trying to turn around and go the other way a meter before I got to the wall. THIS will take some getting used to. But my goggles are super cool! I feel…. mostly like a bug, but still…they’re super cool. I mean, c’mon. CLEARLY! Really cool.

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After planning on swimming for an hour, I found that by the end of half hour I was tuckered out. It felt far from a peaceful, relaxing swim. It felt like a training session. Unlike my training runs, though, I never felt like OH MY GOD, I’M NEVER GOING TO BE ABLE TO DO THIS! I felt calm. I felt like I looked like a total freak. But I felt calm. And like this was going to be the easiest part of my training.

When I got home and loaded my Garmin, I found myself bursting into a giggle fit! I mean, I knew I was zigzagging in the lane a little, but DAY-um!

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My takeaway? The Forerunner 10 does NOT track well indoors! But it does make me laugh!

Also. I love swimming!!

A LOT!

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